All are welcome to attend Mass and prayer services at the Church of Saint Joseph. You are also welcome to pray within the church during daytime hours throughout the week. If you find the church doors locked, you may stop by the parish office during business hours to request access to the church.
- Where is the parish office located? When is it open?
The entrance to the parish office is located east (to the left) of the main church doors in the building marked “Rectory.” The office is normally open Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.
- Where should I park?
Parking is available in the parking lot located between the church and the school. Handicapped parking is available in the row abutting the sidewalk leading to the church. Additional parking is available in the parking lot across the street from the east side of the church property.
- Is the church handicapped-accessible?
The church entrance is at ground-level. The doors to the left of the main entrance of the church and the entrance to the Gathering Space opens automatically with the push of a button accessible to those seated in a wheelchair. There is space for wheelchairs on the left side of the church in the third row of pews along the left aisle. Communion will be brought to individuals seated in this area during Mass. Unfortunately, there are steps leading to the restrooms in the church building. Wheel-chair accessible restrooms are located in the Gathering Space. However, the school is equipped with an elevator, allowing access to a restroom on the main floor. Feel free to make your needs known to an usher, and they can assist you with gaining admittance to the school.
- Where are the restrooms in the church located?
To find the restrooms, when inside the church facing the entrances, go through the right-most exit. You will be in a room known as the “east entrance”. Make an immediate right and follow the steps down into a hallway. The restrooms are on the right side of the hallway.
We encourage full, active and conscious participation in our liturgies; that is, we invite you to sing the hymns, respond to the acclamations, listen attentively to the readings and the homily, and pray along with the priest during the Eucharistic Prayer. To help you participate more fully, we provide missalettes, song books and worship aids. The missalette Celebrating the Eucharist, located in the book holders just inside each church entrance, will help you follow the Order of the Mass. The two songbooks used during our liturgies are stored in the bookshelf located just above the kneeler in front of each pew — the first is the Black Binder and the second is the red hymnal Sacred Song. Worship aids, usually given to you by a “greeter” as you arrive for a liturgy, may include both sung responses and songs that may not be included in the songbooks.
- What should I know about receiving Communion?
Communion is distributed from the center aisle and people return to their seats by the side aisles. For weekend Masses, there are usually four Eucharistic Ministers offering the Body of Christ (two facing the center aisle and one to each side) and four who offer the Precious Blood (two on each side). Please advance to the first available minister.
- What if I don’t want to receive Communion?
It is acceptable to remain in your pew if you do not wish to receive Communion or you may come forward and receive a blessing instead. To receive a blessing, please indicate this by crossing your arms across your chest.
- Who can receive Communion?
- For Catholics
Catholics are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. Those receiving Communion should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is encouraged.
- For Non-Catholics
We welcome all, both Christians and non-Christians, to our Eucharistic celebrations. However, members of churches not yet fully united with the Catholic Church are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life and worship. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions regarding this policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
- For those not receiving Holy Communion
All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to offer their prayers for the peace and unity of the human family.
- For Catholics
- If I am not a parishioner and contribute towards the Sunday offering, will it be recorded?
All donations that include the donor’s name and address will be individually recorded and included in an end-of-the-year statement that can be used for tax purposes.
- Is Mass celebrated every day of the week?
The standard Mass Schedule may sometimes have adjusted times, due to Holy Days, holidays, and other factors. Typically, the daily Mass is cancelled on days when a funeral Mass will be celebrated.
- What if my child is unruly?
We understand that small children will be fidgety and find it difficult to be quiet for long periods of time. If your child becomes disruptive to the point that others may find it difficult to worship, feel free to retreat to the east entrance to give your child a chance to calm down.
- Where is the Tabernacle located?
- I see a number of candles that appear to have different purposes. Can you explain what they are for?
- The candles next to the ambo (pulpit) and altar are lit only for liturgies. They indicate the presence of God and the sacredness of the celebration.
- The candles to the left of the Tabernacle are called votive candles.
- The red candle hanging above the Mother and Child statue is called a sanctuary lamp. This candle remains lit at all times and indicates that the Blessed Sacrament is present in the tabernacle.
- The large candle next to the baptismal font is the Paschal (Easter) candle. It is first lit at the Easter Vigil and it represents Jesus Christ “our light.” It is lit during the Easter season, and for the celebration of baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
- The candles on the walls throughout the church are called consecration candles. Each candle marks a spot where the bishop anointed the church with Sacred Chrism (oil) when the church was dedicated. Only consecrated churches have consecration candles. The candles are always burned on the anniversary of the church’s dedication (for the Church of Saint Joseph the date is June 29). These candles can also be burned on other occasions. At the Church of Saint Joseph, we light the candles throughout the Christmas and Easter seasons to indicate that we are in a heightened time of solemnity.
- What is the square granite structure to the right of the altar?
This granite structure is called the baptismal font. It holds the water blessed during the Easter Vigil, which is used for Baptisms throughout the year.
- What is stored in the small cabinet on the wall near the baptismal font?
Three of the oils blessed by the Bishop of the Saint Cloud Diocese at the annual Chrism Mass, held at the Cathedral of Saint Mary, are stored in the Ambry. The oils are used in our parish throughout the year. The Oil of the Infirm/Sick is used for anointing those who suffer in mind and body. The Oil of the Catechumens is used for anointing infants, children and adults prior to their baptism. The Holy Chrism is used for anointing those receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders.
- What is the significance of the crosses along the walls of the church?
Each of the 14 crosses reminds us of one of the events that occurred during the Passion of Christ. The Stations of the Cross is a popular Catholic devotion.
- May I sit in the balcony during Mass?
Please note that Mass and special liturgies are videotaped from the balcony and broadcast on the local cable channel. We prefer that the main floor is filled before people seat themselves in the balcony. The ushers will be happy to assist you with finding seating, when needed.